- 2010/03/31 Dutch descendant launches 'Melaka from the top'

It was another feather in the cap for local historian-cum-author Dennis De Witt who recently launched a unique publication depicting a bird's eye view of the historic development of Malacca.

Entitled 'Melaka From The Top' the book shows the development of the coastal port city through photographs and maps dating back to the 1960s.

De Witt, a fifth generation Malacca Dutch-Eurasian, said he spent a year compiling the necessary photographs of city and maps to show how the coastline had undergone development over the years.

Image: Personal signature: De Witt (seated) authographing his book after its launching recently.
Dennis de Witt (seated) authographing his book after its launching recently.

"I got the idea of publishing the book after visiting Holland and saw a book on aerial photos of the city.

"I thought it would be good to document a bird's eye view of Malacca city which has undergone a lot of change over the last 40 years," he said during the book launching ceremony here recently.

De Witt, a management consultant based in Kuala Lumpur, added that it was a challenge to get the book published as he had to source for old photographs of the city.

As far as he knows, his book is the first of its kind in the country that tells the story of a city's historic development through aerial snaps shots.

Besides the book, he has also authored several other books including the well researched 'Reconnecting Through Our Roots' in 2006 and 'History of the Dutch in Malaysia' in 2007.

In his speech, Malacca Tourism Promotion Division's general-manager Nazary Ahmad commended De Witt's effort as it would provide greater insight to locals and foreigners seeking to learn more of Malacca's past.

"The book will complement the state's move to promote the city as a Unesco World Heritage Site as it would be a good source of reference for those wanting to know more of Malacca," he said.

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